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The Three little Pigs (simple finger puppet play for Esl learners)

 

I wrote this mini play for a class of 4-8 year old children. I tried to make it super simple and comprehensive for both children learning English as a second language or very young children who are still unable to memorize longer pieces of dialogue. I also used hand puppets and encouraged the children to make simple prop houses made out of cardboard, sticks and straw. A puppet theatre can be shop bought or if you have a tight budget, a black curtain can be positioned over a hung washing line to create a puppet stage.

2- 10 Characters

1-4 Narrators

Mummy pig

Timmy pig

Sam pig

Jack Pig

Wolf

Brick/Hay/Stick salesman

SCENE 1

Mother pig’s kitchen

Narrator: A Mummy Pig has three baby pigs called Timmy, Sam and Jack. (pigs enter) Timmy likes singing, Sam likes fishing and Jack likes sleeping (Jack can be heard snoring)

Mummy pig: You are too pig for my little house. You must build your own houses

Pigs:  Goodbye Mummy 

Mummy pig Goodbye little pigs. Be careful of the big bad wolf. He’ll eat you!

SCENE 2

Along the road

Narrator 2 :  Timmy Pig meets a man

Salesman : Hello little pig do you want some straw?

Timmy Pig:  Yes please, I want to build a strong straw house. (the man gives him some straw) Thank you.

Narrator 2: Sam meets a man

Man: Hello little pig do you want some sticks?

Tommy Pig Yes please, I want to build a strong stick house. (the man gives him some sticks) Thank you.

Narrator 2: Jack meets a man

Salesman: Hello little pig do you want some bricks?

Jack Pig:  Yes please, I want to build a strong brick house. (the man gives him some sticks) Thank you.

Timmy pig: This is my new house (a straw house appears)

Sam pig: This is my new house (a stick house appears)

Jack pig: This is my new house (a brick house appears)

SCENE 3

Timmy’s house

Narrator 3: Oh no…here comes Mr Wolf

Wolf: I’m hungry, I’m very very hungry grrrhhhh ! I smell pigs , yummy yummy . Little pig , little pig, let me come in

Timmy pig: No you can’t come in Mr Wolf! Go away go away !

Wolf: Then i’ll Huff, puff, huff, puff ,huff, puff and blow your house in!

(Timmy pig runs away)

SCENE 4

Sam’s house

Narrator 3 The wolf comes to the stick house

Wolf: I’m hungry, I’m very very hungry grrrhhhh ! I smell pigs , yummy yummy . Little pigs, little pig, let me come in

Timmy pig and Sam pig No, no, no you can’t come in Mr Wolf! Go away go away !

Wolf: Then i’ll Huff, puff, huff, puff ,huff, puff and blow your house in!

(Timmy and Sam run away)

SCENE 5

Jack’s house

Narrator 3 The wolf comes to the brick house

Wolf: I’m hungry, I’m very very hungry grrrhhhh ! I smell pigs, yummy yummy.  Little pigs, little pig, let me come in

Timmy pig and Sam pig and Jack Pig : No, no, no you can’t come in Mr Wolf! Go away go away!

Wolf: Then i’ll Huff, puff, huff, puff ,huff, puff and blow your house in! (repeat 3 times) Ahhhh, I’m very tired!

Narrator 4 : The pigs put a big pot of boiling water on the stove

Timmy pig and Sam pig and Jack Pig:   Mr Wolf, we are ready now! 

Narrator 4: The wolf slides down the chimney and falls into the big pot of boiling water

Narrator 4 Timmy, Sam and Jack live together in Harry’s house and are very happy.

THE END

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Five Little Monkeys Song with Finger Puppets

Five Little Monkeys Swinging in a Tree Song For Children

Five little monkeys swinging in the tree
teasing Mr. Crocodile “you can’t catch me”
along came Mr. Crocodile quiet as can be and SNAP!!

Four little monkeys swinging in the tree
teasing Mr. Crocodile “you can’t catch me”
along came Mr. Crocodile quiet as can be and SNAP!!

Three little monkeys swinging in the tree
teasing Mr. Crocodile “you can’t catch me”
along came Mr. Crocodile quiet as can be and SNAP!!

Two little monkeys swinging in the tree
teasing Mr. Crocodile “you can’t catch me”
along came Mr. Crocodile quiet as can be and SNAP!!

One little monkeys swinging in the tree
teasing Mr. Crocodile “you can’t catch me”
along came Mr. Crocodile quiet as can be and SNAP!!

No more monkeys swinging in the tree!

Miranda’s Interpretation /Translation in Italian – dedicated to any bilingual parents out there:-)

Cinque Scimmiette si Dondolano Sull’Albero Canzone Per Bambini

Cinque scimmiette si dondolano sull’albero
prendono in giro il Mr. Coccodrillo
”Tanto non ci prendi! Tanto non ci prendi!”
Ecco che si avvicina Mr. Coccodrillo,  e piano, piano ….SNAP!!

Quattro scimmiette si dondolano sull’albero
prendono in giro il Mr. Coccodrillo
”Tanto non ci prendi! Tanto non ci prendi!”
Ecco che si avvicina Mr. Coccodrillo,  e piano, piano ….SNAP!!

Tre scimmiette si dondolano sull’albero
prendono in giro il Mr. Coccodrillo
”Tanto non ci prendi! Tanto non ci prendi!”
Ecco che si avvicina Mr. Coccodrillo,  e piano, piano ….SNAP!!

Due scimmiette si dondolano sull’albero
prendono in giro il Mr. Coccodrillo
”Tanto non ci prendi! Tanto non ci prendi!”
Ecco che si avvicina Mr. Coccodrillo,  e piano, piano ….SNAP!!

Una scimmietta si dondola sull’albero
prendono in giro il Mr. Coccodrillo
”Tanto non ci prendi! Tanto non ci prendi!”
Ecco che si avvicina Mr. Coccodrillo,  e piano, piano ….SNAP!!

Nessuna scimmietta si dondola sull’albero

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How to Make a Shadow Puppet Theatre

 

View Make a simple shadow puppet theatre

Today I have been preparing my first ever “Shadow Puppet Play” which I will perform with my class of pre-schoolers.

Shadow puppetry is a form of puppetry, in which you move puppets, cut out of paper, between a light source and a screen. The audience on the other side of the screen only sees the shadows. It is great for storytelling, a lot of fun to prepare and children love it. You can make it as ambitious as you like with moving body parts and different props and scenes.

Having very little previous experience with shadow puppets I decided to keep it simple, play safe and chose a well known fairy tale ”Little Red Riding Hood”. I am no great artist and I rely heavily on stencils from the internet for masks, paper puppets, flashcards etc. Today I came across a great website www.hvanrossum.com which really helped me out for stencils and how to stage a puppet play for young children. “Heleen Van Rossum“ will give you step by step advice on how to approach your first performance.

I recently purchased a cardboard puppet theatre from IKEA for about $7 which is simple to assemble and  practical for transporting around as it folds flat. In the photos you can see I simply attached,with masking tape, a piece of paper table cloth or baking paper (just as Heleen van Rossum suggests) and I’m happy to go.

Start out by narrating the story slowly animating your voice and using the puppets. (I suggest to practice a few times at home in front of a mirror).You can stop during or at the end of each scene and ask the children what they understand. Don’t let the play last for more than 7 mins (keep it short and sweet to maintain the children’s full attention)

Now invite the children to come “behind the scenes” and become the puppeteers themselves as you retell the story. To finish, prepare a simple shadow puppet character template for each child to cut out and make their own.

Happy teaching

Miranda

 

 

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Rusty the Puppet Tourist Tuscany

There are so many ways in which our character puppets can be used in education, whether it be teaching English , Maths or Science. A puppet brings instant joy and motivation to both young and old. Here we continue with Rusty the Puppet touring Italy introducing us to the wonders of Florence.

rusty_2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Here I am with my friend Thomas outside the Church Santa Maria Novella in the Centre of Florence, Italy . It’s all made of marble and is an important Gothic church in Tuscany. It was built between 1279 and 1357 …Wowww, that’s old! “

IMG_1657

“Hi, here I am outside the "Duomo"  cathedral in Florence, It’s  true name is "Santa Maria del Fiore" or "Our Lady of the Flower." It took nearly 140 years to build and was designed by  Filippo Brunelleschi , Amazing, isn’t it? Along with St Peter’s in Rome and St. Paul’s in London, the “Duomo” is considered the largest Christian Church in the world”

IMG_1658

“This is a replica of the “David” statue outside the Duomo. It is 5.17 metres high and was sculpted by the famous artist Michelangelo. It took 3 years to build and was made out of a marble block . It represents the Biblical hero David . He is very strong and dominating (bit like myself 🙂 ) and symbolized Florentine freedom.”

IMG_1662

“Great fresco inside the Duomo. I would have liked to have gone up to look closer but there’s no lift and Thomas refused to give me a piggy back. Oh well another time… Enough of culture  for the moment , is it pizza lunch time yet? :-))”

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Rusty in Tuscany. Substitute the teacher… with a puppet!

 

Hi I’m Rusty the Puppet. I’m from England and at the moment I’m visiting my friend Thomas in Florence, Italy. Thomas is bilingual which is a good job as my Italian is not up to scratch. The other day he took me on the new Tram to the centre of Florence where we visited Piazza Santa Maria Novella. In the background you can see the Duomo, Florence’s largest Cathedral… WOWWW ..it’s nearly as big as my mouth!.

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How to teach English when you don’t know a word!

Would you like to teach your children English even if you can’t speak it well yourself?

starfall

I use this fun interactive “learning to read site” with my bilingual Italo/English 6 year old. He speaks and comprehends English well but like many bilingual children his reading and writing skills are behind. Starfall is fun as it uses phonics, stories and plays to teach and motivate children to read aloud. For non-English speaking parents or teachers you can easily follow the simple stories yourselves and click on words to reveal their correct pronunciation.

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Ricky (the puppet) Explores Antarctica

Antarticapuppet

Puppets can share joy or sadness; they can be naughty or good, cheeky or shy; and when a child is engaged by a puppet they can learn lessons and absorb messages without even realising they are.

For perfect example check out  http://antarcticapuppet.primaryblogger.co.uk/ .
A fabulous blog about how Ricky (the puppet) investigates science in the real world and “Explores Antarctica”. www.puppetsproject.com  also provide many ideas for science projects using puppets

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Using ESL Drama with There was an old lady who swallowed a fly

Image result for there was an old lady images childs play

This well-known rhyme lends itself well to using some creative and interactive drama activities with children. It is also useful for young ESL learners as there is a lot of repetition in it. Even though young children may only be able to join in on the first line introducing each animal, the repetition helps build memory and fluency.

Teacher Role play

  1. To introduce the story you could simply adapt a kitchen apron sewing/gluing or stapling  a transparent front pocket to  represent the old lady’s tummy. You could then cut out and color the story animals that are swallowed by the od lady.(laminate the cut outs so they can also be re-used for other activities in future lessons)
  1. Instead of simple reading the book – for extra fun and to add a surprise element, before your class arrives, dress yourself up as the old lady using a wig or head scarf, pair of eye glasses, walking stick and your apron of course.
  1. As the children walk into class you can delight them with your “old lady” saying things like “I’m hungry, I’m very very hungry- have you got something to eat?” Look around the room,  in children’s pockets, in their ears! Children love it! Don’t forget to dramatize your character using a squeaky voice and aching back!!
  1. Sit the children in a circle on the floor and set the animal flashcards in front of them. Start telling the story using lots of mime and animation as you introduce the animals encourage the children to indicate the correct correct animal before you swallow it loudly and hungrily and put it in your transparent tummy.
  1. For an extra role-play exercise – dress the children up and get them walking and talking and imagining they are 100 years old. Or to imagine how it would feel to have a spider wriggling inside!
  1. You could also provide them with their own zip-lock bags and get them to make their own personal animals or finger puppets to put inside. Repeat the story again with everyone choosing their correct animal to eat.

Here is an interesting animated version of the story.

The following link to shadow puppet play I found on youtube may give you some creative ideas on how to stage the story

 

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Have no fear! Puppets are positive creatures that bring about positive responses.

We are extremely happy to finally go live with our new website GoGoGenius

gogogenius_home

My husband and I decided to set up GoGoGenius as we wanted to create a special place where parents, teachers and educators could find products, tips and suggestions to help their children learn English through fun and creativity .

We are based in Florence, Italy, and we sell puppets and educational products primarily, but not exclusively, dedicated to teaching English, using fun, unconventional methods and theatre techniques.

Over the next few weeks we will be adding many more products and resources and we would love to receive any feedback from you.

Check out our puppet range as I believe they are a fantastic resource for any parent or teacher for use in educational activities such as storytelling, phonics, mathematics, and foreign language teaching.

As an English teacher, I use puppets in class on a regular basis because I have seen for myself that they work very successfully . Puppets are positive creatures that bring about positive responses. They fascinate and engage both children and adults in a special way. They capture a child’s attention and make learning fun!

Many educators shy away from using puppets not knowing really what to do with them apart from using them as a simple “doll”.

Fear not!!!!!!

I will try and give you some fundamental puppet tips and convey to you what wonderful teaching tools they really are.

Stay tuned!! Miranda’s back!!!

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The object game

Many traditional drama games for adults can be easily adapted for teaching children English. The following game is great fun and all my students adore it! It encourages team work, self expression, independence, and quick thinking. Suitable from ages 5 upwards.

Call out the name of an object and the group as a whole or split into smaller groups of 4-5 have to make the shape of that object out of their own bodies, joining together in different ways while you count down slowly from ten to zero. Usually the group will find a different way of forming the object. Examples could be: numbers, letters, a car, a number, a letter, a clock, a washing machine, a fire, a happy machine, a sausage machine. Encourage the children to make a sound to accompany their machine or object. One of my children’s favourites is a birthday cake. Some children act as candles we sing Happy Birthday and I blow out the giant “body” candles and the children fall to the ground. Great fun and makes the language memorable.